Danger of a second Constitutional Convention
Judge Napolitano has specifically proposed tea party activists and "Freedom Lovers" act to demand members of state legislatures to: First, agree on the wording of two amendments addressing commerce and income taxes. Next persuade the state legislatures of 34 states to enact a resolution by a simple majority vote of each house of the states’ legislatures instructing Congress to convene a constitutional convention for the express and sole purpose of considering these two amendments...Napolitano errs in that a convention could be limited to only two amendments, and he is misguided in many other aspects of the proposal. A full program with guests who have long opposed such a 2nd Con-Con is more than necessary. Suggestions include John F. McManus and Phyllis Schlafly. Both have written extensively of the dangers of a Con-Con. Schlafly as recently as May 2009. http://www.eagleforum.org/psr/2009/may09/psrmay09.html
dr marcus rose commented
You need to report on this! There's a new Tea Party campaign aimed at democrats in congress. They are planning on sending a million of these books before the November elections in a big publicity stunt, which is no doubt run by Joseph Farah!I can't say who I am, but this came to many people in the conservative camp over the last month. It is a promotional printing of the book to get everyone excited. Apparently there are some big conservative groups signed up to sponsor this!
Gordon Johnson commented
Congress call a convention because 33 states ask for one? Doubtful.
The fact is that States have called for a Con-Con 741 (yes that's seven hundred and forty-one) times since 1789. The Congress has yet to call one at anyone's pleasure but their own. If memory serves, when the first State made a request. Madison had the chair. The issue was whether or not to committee the request. The answer was no - because there were not the requisite number of requests. So the Congress held it. A couple of years later, when a request from a second State arrived, the first request was no where to be found, and lacking the requisite number of requests, was tabled. And so until today...
To the substance of the issue, if 33 States (2/3'ds) agreed on the wording of an amendment they need only vote it in their legislatures and send it to four more states. If the four additional State Legislatures approve then they need only have the Secretaries of State report the results to Washington and it is an Amendment.
The Constitution binds Congress on the matter of calling a Con-Con (on petition of 2/3ds of State's representatives, or of 2/3ds of State Legislatures) and it says the Congress may "propose" ratification by Con-Con or by Legislatures. It in no way binds the States to comply with Congress' proposal - else it would be a decree and not a proposal.
The clause binds the States only inasmuch as it sets the required majority to make a Con-Con or to amend. It is silent on whether the States can have a Con-Con absent a call from congress. But it needn't say a thing. We know the States can, because the Constitution exists. Yet before the Constitution existed there was no United States and hence to United States Congress, but only an annulled confederacy.
And please do not quote Supreme Court cases on these matters.
The Supreme Court is a creature of the compact. As such I can imagine no way the creature of the compact can bind the parties to the compact without the compact's destruction. I can see only that given a ruling, the parties to the compact may choose to enforce the compact or dissolve it.
In the present crisis far fewer than 33 states could force the creature of the compact into compliance simply by withholding their revenue. The creature is so laden with debt that absent the revenue it could not enforce its desires from its own resources, nor draw more credit, nor meet the obligations it already has. Withholding revenue the creature would be forced to comply or die.
The purpose of calling for a convention is not to actually hold a convention. Congress doesn't want one, either. But if 33 states (one short) call for a convention to adopt a single, uniformly worded amendment, Congress is likely to adopt it and send it back to the states for ratification. That is what has happened before. Of course, the states could also simply demand that Congress adopt the amendment without calling a convention, which is myh preferred approach for the amendments I have proposed http://www.constitution.org/reform/us/con_amend.htm but it Congress is also much less likely to adopt without the call for the convention. This is discussed in a paper by Gerard Magliocca http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1284371
Dare Berringer commented
Thanks. Let Judge Napolitano have an honest debate on this now. Otherwise, the gains made by such programming on Fox News Network, providing the other side in comparison to other networks, will be tainted by the one side, my side only norm. The New American article is a must read today, Judge and Glenn Beck!
Constitutional Convention Backers Want to Hijack the Tea Party Movement
Carolyn Guillot commented
I agree the Judge should have John McManus on the show to discuss the dangers of a Constitutional Convention. I shudder every time it comes up on the Glenn Beck show, thinking what can these people be thinking!!! The JBS has been following it for decades and are the most qualified to debate the issue with the Judge.